San Jose welcomes Toronto looking for its first home win.
San Jose Earthquakes: The Earthquakes finally found a goalscorer not named Chris Wondolowski. Simon Dawkins and Khari Stephenson bagged a goal apiece in the Earthquakes' 2-2 draw against Seattle last Saturday and looked good during their time on the pitch. Dawkins was especially noteworthy, his goal a well-deserved reward for his tireless work in midfield. Bobby Convey and Ramiro Corrales formed an effective partnership on the left flank, regularly troubling Seattle, with Convey providing the assist for Dawkins' goal.
Toronto FC: Despite losing serial goal scorer Dwayne De Rosario, Toronto’s offense still notched one and should have had two more against Chivas. Maicon Santos is adapting to the attacking midfield role quickly and linking up well with Alan Gordon. Toronto may have the best pair of wingers in the league, both with top European club pedigree. When the ball does get wide Javier Martina and Alen Stevanovic have been dangerous, but Toronto have not been pushing the ball wide enough thus far.
San Jose: The Earthquakes' normally solid defensive line struggled on Saturday night against Seattle, with Brandon McDonald and Jason Hernandez looking out of sync as the Sounders put two goals past them. The performance could bring changes from Frank Yallop with many clamoring for Ike Opara to be handed his first start of the season.
Toronto: Toronto’s defense has been improving with each game, although against weaker opposition. They will find it difficult to shut down a strong San Jose offense which boasts Chris Wondolowski. TFC fans will be hoping a week’s worth of training is enough for the new additions to gel with their new teammates. An in sync back line is necessary for Toronto to have a chance at leaving San Jose with points.
San Jose: The team's new tactical setup has produced some good soccer over the past three weeks and created some good chances. Still, aside from the Dallas game, everything hasn't quite come together. Nonetheless, Frank Yallop is unlikely to change much as he searches for the right formula. It is possible that Ike Opara could replace Brandon McDonald in the center of defense after the latter's struggle against Seattle. Steven Lenhart missed the first three games of the season through a combination of injury and a death in his family, but could be set to feature against Toronto after Ryan Johnson's up and down game in the target man role.
Toronto FC: Toronto’s attacking four will likely stay the same as last week against Chivas. If Julian De Guzman is match fit for 90 minutes he will start alongside Tony Tchani, Gianluca Zavarise or Jacob Peterson. Once again the back four is a tossup, Toronto’s only full backs capable of getting down the field in possession are both left backs. Winter may opt to move Mikael Yourassowsky or Danleigh Borman to the right if one is capable of switching sides. Dicoy Williams looked very comfortable on the ball in his substitute appearance last week, which should earn him a start this week over Adrian Cann or Nana Attakora who both struggled last week. Attakora could also be pushed wide to right full back since he used to play the position and could return due to the new acquisitions.
Julian de Guzman | Looking to make a successful return to fitness.
San Jose: The Earthquakes have only garnered one point from their first two home games and will want to demonstrate that they can win at Buck Shaw. If they can't piece together a win at home against an erratic Toronto side before their trip to New York, then their playoff credentials could start to come under early questioning.
Toronto FC: Whether a defender's foot pushed Santos’ sitter wide last week or not, one thing’s for sure, he will be looking to erase that from his and Toronto supporters memories.
Nick Rosano: The Earthquakes have struggled at home, but against Toronto they should put together a solid enough effort to dispatch the Reds. San Jose 2-0 Toronto.
Kosta Christopher: Toronto will surprise many at Buck Shaw Stadium and come away with all three points. San Jose 1-2 Toronto FC
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